Temple officials said the university is still negotiating with local labor unions for the potential construction of a worker training facility that would be located at the new Temple Sports Complex.
“They’ve left a portion [of TSC] open for the potential user,” said James Templeton, the university’s director of Architecture Services.
Members of the Laborers’ District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity currently train in Exton, Pennsylvania, about 35 miles west of the office on Wallace Street near Ridge Avenue. The Education and Training Center, founded in 1982, has indoor and outdoor facilities on 88 acres of land to allow trainees to have real-life applications training.
“In addition to practical job training, Temple and the council are working together to define additional educational services that will be provided at the facility to council members and the surrounding community,” university spokesman Brandon Lausch said.
Courses in the LDC’s apprenticeship program “emphasize the principles of construction, equipment knowledge and operation, materials, site preparation, maintenance and safety,” according to its website. One of the requirements is to have reliable transportation, which is a concern for some, especially for those from the Local 332 and 57 chapters in Philadelphia.
“[It’s] not really a problem for those that know how to navigate the public transportation,” said Roscoe Green, the training director in Exton. “It’s just a matter of it being a very, very early ride. We have registration at 7 a.m. … and for some people in that area, getting transportation that can get them here by 7 may be a difficulty.”
A train from Jefferson Station usually takes 53 minutes to get to Exton on weekdays. When SEPTA pulled defective Silverliner V rail cars — about one-third of its fleet this summer — traveling to Exton became more difficult.
If located at TSC, the trip would be about four minutes to Jefferson Station.
“The major thing was the changes in the schedule, which put them outside of the registration period in the morning and being too late to actually get in the class,” Green added.
While the Exton facility will remain open once construction is completed, the LDC hopes the facility will help service more people. The portion of the building that faces Broad Street would host a construction vocations facility. There would also be literacy, General Education Development, English as a Second Language, writing composition and math classes provided by Temple.
“For the members that are in [Local] 57 and [Local] 332 and some of the members from [Local] 135 that live in the city, it’s more accessible because of the bus and rail lines and subway lines that run in the city,” Green said. “That location on North Broad Street would be more accessible to them.”
Evan Easterling can be reached at email@example.com.
Julie Christie contributed reporting.